Top 5 Tips - Applying for the Condition Improvement Fund

Top 5 Tips - Applying for the Condition Improvement Fund

The time has arrived for everyone involved in the Condition Improvement Fund to get on with writing articulate, concise, winning bids that will enable yourselves as school and education professionals to get the most out of your school improvements next year. 

Timings are tight, December’s deadline is looming so with that in mind we’ve compiled a list of top tips to help you decide whether this is something you could benefit from:

1. Find out if you are eligible

Knowing what the Condition Improvement Fund is all about, who can apply and what can be applied for is key to success. Academies and Sixth Form colleges can apply to the EFA for capital funding from the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). Academies which are part of a multi academy trust of more than 5 schools do not need to go through the CIF bidding process, depending on the number of pupils. However, these schools may also benefit from additional funds. Please contact us for more information.

2. Know the key criteria

This fund does not cover every type of project so be aware of what is eligible. There are 3 categories of project:  Condition projects, Condition with expansion and Expansion. And that’s not all, each project will be scored against 3 weighted criteria. 

  • Project Need – 70%
  • Project Planning – 15%
  • Value for Money - 15%

3. Know the project thresholds for CIF projects

The aim of CIF projects is to improve a capital asset used for education purposes and the thresholds for primary and special schools are between £20,000 and £4 million. For secondary and sixth form colleges, the levels of funding are between £50,000 and £4 million.

4. Know which projects have priority

This is a competitive process and not all projects will gain funding. The highest priorities are Compliance and Health and safety projects including emergency asbestos removal, gas, electrical and fire safety, lift safety, legionella and safeguarding. The second highest priority is weathertightness of the buildings and mechanical and electrical systems. There’s a lot to bear in mind to ensure your projects successfully make it through the bidding process.

5. Know the deadlines

The CIF information for applicants will be published in mid-October, followed shortly by the registration deadline for new applicants at the end of November. The deadline for submitting applications will be in early December.

Good luck with the process and please get in touch to see if we can help guide you through the process. We don’t charge for the work carried out in putting the bids together so why not call for a friendly chat about the help we can provide.